Monday, April 13, 2009

The beautiful win

What better way to win Roubaix than soloing for the last 12km after all of your competitors fall by the wayside? Boonen put on a display of pure power stomping the pedals, his upper body rocking from side-to-side as he tried to eke out every last watt he could. Pippo Pozzato chased valiantly, but ultimately conceded seconds to Boonen with each passing kilometer. Despite decent weather, this Paris-Roubaix was another legendary one.

Boonen now sits tied with many of the greats like Merckx, Moser and Museeuw, with 3 wins in the Queen of the Classics. Only one man, Roger "Mr. Paris-Roubaix" De Vlaeminck, has won 4. Could Boonen be set to equal, or dare I say surpass, this venerable record? One thing is for sure, the record for fastest Paris-Roubaix doesn't look to be under any threat. Set in 1964 by Peter Post. Compare Boonen's performance yesterday with its average speed of 41.343 kph to Post's '64 record of 45.1 kph, a difference of about 3.8 kph (or 2.3 mph)! But then again, Post and a few others were fuelled by hatred for a former teammate. Even more remarkably, Boonen's performance yesterday still falls short of the second fastest Paris-Roubaix in history, a pace set in 1948 when Rik Van Steenburgen won with an average speed of 43.6 kph! That is still faster than Boonen by 2.3 kph (or 1.4 mph)!
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